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What I Did After Leaving School
Peter Smales

I left HSB in 1959 & started as an apprentice draughtsman with C D Holmes (Marine Engineers & Trawler builders.
In 1965 I joined the Merchant Navy sailing with Blue Funnel from Liverpool as an engineer officer. I was there for 12 months sailing to exotic places in the Far East which has spoilt me a bit for travelling now. At the time I was courting, or as they say now, I was an item with my then girlfriend, now my wife, Joy.

Stopped my sailing and got a job for a few months as a maintenance fitter with Marfleet Refining Co. (they make cod liver oil capsules)
This was just a temporary job and I eventually went back to the drawing board with Hawker Siddeley, aircraft manufacturers at Brough East Yorkshire.

At the tender age of 27 in 1971 I survived a massive redundancy of design staff that took place at the company. This really unsettled / frightened, me as aircraft design is so specialised and there were not too many aircraft companies around.  I therefore looked around for a new career eventually focusing on accountancy.
It was a career I could study and qualify in at my late age.

Got a grant and went off to Leeds Polytechnic to study Management Accountancy, qualifying in 1973.

At the time I had a wife, young daughter and mortgage to support. Tough but we managed.

In 1973, at the now age of 29, I managed to get a job as a management accountant with Smith & Nephew (the makers of Elastoplast). By this time, the second daughter had appeared. I was reasonably happy there until 1981 when I got itchy feet again. So I became a lecturer in accountancy at the Hull College of Further Education. Then followed a move as a lecturer to Humberside University, where I remained until 1997 with an early retirement / redundancy
Package looked attractive to me. This took place for a large number of us, as our University built a brand new one in Lincoln and we didn’t want to work there
thank you very much! Leaving the university fitted in very nicely with looking after the first of our three grandkids. (2 girls & 1 boy)

In addition, Joy and I had been running our part-time accountancy practice on the side so it was ideal opportunity to go into it full-time. This enabled to pay for two weddings and numerous treats for the grandkids! We have now run this down leaving us at present with just a handful of clients.

My ‘non working’ life was interesting:-

In the 1970’s I entertained in the clubs as a semi pro magician. I was interested in magic at HSB and if I remember so were Ian Greenwood and Norman Baron.

A couple of years ago I went to Whitby Folk Festival & purchased a squeezebox, learnt to play it and other instruments, and now go to pub sessions locally three times a week. I’m even a member of a boy band! One of my granddaughters refers to it as a ‘Sad Old Git’ band! I currently play; banjo, melodeon, accordion, guitar, but not all at the same time! For my 66th birthday in April my wife Joy, is paying for fiddle lessons for me. Not a good move!